Tartus. Charlie don't surf...
Hmeim, Victory Day parade
The Syrian and Russian air forces are working overtime today, conducting over 50 airstrikes in southern Aleppo as the Syrian ground forces attempt to advance around the strategic town of Khan Touman. According to a military source inside the city of Al-Safira, the Syrian and Russian air forces specifically targeted the jihadist rebel defenses at Khan Touman, Al-Khalidiyah, Tal Al-‘Eiss, ICARDA Farms, Al-Zorba, and Saraqib. This aerial campaign is still ongoing and has recently intensified after the Syrian Air Force sent another squadron to the battle.
By Frederik Pleitgen, CNN
(CNN)Last week the Russian military brought more than a hundred international journalists, including our CNN crew, to Palmyra. The trip was orchestrated to showcase Moscow's role in liberating the ancient heritage site but it also said a lot about the Russian army's capabilities and the scale of their assets in Syria.
Ferrying that many people from Russia's air base in Latakia halfway across a war-torn country -- to a place that until recently was a combat zone -- is a massive logistical and security operation.
The convoy involved five buses full of journalists, at least eight armored vehicles with heavy machine guns, two fighting vehicles and the constant presence of two attack helicopters hovering overhead. During the more than six-hour journey, choppers were switched out several times and the vehicles were shadowed by a variety of gunships, including Mi-28, KA-52, and the modernized Mi-35s. As we made our way across Syria we passed several bases with Russian helicopters along the Western coastline, near Homs and in the Palmyra area.
Russia deployed dozens of strike aircraft and jet fighters to Syria at the end of 2015, bombing in support of Syrian president Bashar al Assad's forces. But Moscow also appears to have built up substantial ground forces in various locations in Syria. There are no reliable numbers on Russian troop levels in the country but it appeared to us that there were at least several thousand troops on the ground along with modern weaponry and infrastructure.
The Hmeymim air base on the outskirts of Latakia, on the country's northwest coast, is a mix of an existing Syrian military airfield and container housing units that the Russians have set up. The camp is large, modern, and well-maintained.
The Russian military allowed us to film some of their troops during an early morning sports session that involved weight training, basketball, volleyball and boxing. A young first lieutenant who would only give his first name, "Vladimir," said the troops are highly motivated.
"I am very happy to serve my country here," he said.
He then added, "I am not afraid of anything in Syria. Why would we be afraid?"
The professionalism of the troops and the pristine state of the equipment they were using showed the Russian military has come a long way since it began a major modernization program several years ago. Aside from dozens of jets, Russia also has a wide range of combat helicopters, main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers and surface-to-air missile systems.
But the biggest surprise was seeing so many Russian ground forces in other places in Syria as well. The army has built a brand new outpost next to the old city of Palmyra. The freshly-paved camp is officially a base for the mining crews that cleared thousands of explosive devices from Palmyra and the surrounding towns over the past weeks since the city was retaken from ISIS.
But aside from mine-clearing equipment, there also are dozens of fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers stationed at the base. While those assets could be there for force protection, Russia has also deployed a state-of-the-art Pantsir-S1 air defense system that can both launch missiles and fire cannons at incoming planes.
The Russian military has told CNN that their air force chooses and pinpoints targets on their own, with no input from the Syrian military. Igor Konashankov, the spokesman for Russia's Defense Ministry, also says Moscow has no influence over the targets the Syrian Air Force hits.
The U.S. has said Russia is moving artillery toward the contested city of Aleppo, raising concerns that a ceasefire will not hold. But the Russians have not confirmed that. If Assad were to retake all of Aleppo, it would be a major victory.
While the exact size of Russia's military presence in Syria is still unclear, the things we saw while embedded with them indicate that it is bigger and more sophisticated than most believe. It does not look like an army that plans on leaving Syria any time soon.
Zivo wrote:Shtora could have been shot up, the tank could have broken down and was burned than abandoned, it could have been hit by an ATGM, there's no way to tell. This was filmed by the good guys, the location is Khan Touman.
We'll just have to wait for more videos or info to find out what actually happened.
Media Syria Central is related to government. They would not document a hit with an atgm of their own tank. So it's more realistic that it's a rebel tank. Maybe a rebel T-72, but the quality of the video is not perfect.Zivo wrote:Sorry to break the news, this looks like the first T-90 loss.
At 1:10. There is no visible hit, just a damaged tank that appears to be a T-90, with smoke coming from the hatches.
You have very good eyes ^.^ respect!KoTeMoRe wrote:It's a T90, for sure it's T90 21-6, and the after math is that the tank is still out there no secondary deton. This will go back with the other T90. One thing's for sure the tank's not moving.
It's not a Kornet, they use three Konkurses to get the Rat Tank out of range, probabaly because the Rats were trying to get there and overrun the T90. IMO it's a mobility kill and I hope the crew is OK.
Zivo wrote:So, no apparent cookoff, but what could explain the white smoke from the hatch?
Militarov wrote:Zivo wrote:So, no apparent cookoff, but what could explain the white smoke from the hatch?
Automatic fire supressing system kicked in?
SouthFront: Militants use US-made BGM 71 against Russian-made T-90 in Aleppo province
On May 10, the Free Syrian Army released a video, claiming that they destroyed a Russian-made T-90 with a US-made anti-tank missile, BGM-71 TOW. The incident allegedly took place near Humayra, 10 kilometers south of Aleppo City.
Pro-militant sources that the battle tank has been destroyed.
Other sources report that this T-90 has been observed active in Southern Aleppo after the event:
KoTeMoRe wrote:It's a T90, for sure it's T90 21-6
Zivo wrote:KoTeMoRe wrote:It's a T90, for sure it's T90 21-6
I watched the video and cannot positively ID it as 21-6, it just looks indistinct too me. I must be missing something. Could you explain how you came to that conclusion?
Serbian Sputnik claims it was "destroyed"
Serbian Sputnik claims it was "destroyed"